Scottish Wider Access Programme – SWAP

Want to get back into education? Always wanted to go to university?

A SWAP course could be the answer!

What is SWAP?

The Scottish Wider Access Programme is a way for adult learners to fulfil their academic potential and study for a degree or a HNC/D qualification at University or College.

A SWAP programme could be for you if you:

  • Have been out of full-time education for 3 years or more (5 years if you have Highers or a HN qualification)
  • Don’t already have a university degree
  • Are ready to focus on your education and want to progress to a degree or to a HNC/D
  • Previous qualifications are not normally required for entry.

SWAP courses provide a route into thousands of different degree programmes at partner universities and colleges in Scotland. Find out more.


Allied Health Professionals

This exciting new programme has been developed by North East Scotland College and Robert Gordon University especially for those who would like to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Paramedic Science or Midwifery.

Medical & Life Sciences

As well as providing a sound grounding in the theoretical basis of medical and life sciences, this course contains a significant amount of stimulating practical activities in subjects such as biology, human biology, microbiology, chemistry, maths and statistics, or biotechnology.

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Social Care

The course is dynamic in its delivery and includes a range of interesting subjects, including psychology, sociology, employability skills, and the principles and legislation that underpin Social Care. It is taught by a team of lecturing staff who are experienced in the industry.

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Social Sciences, Arts & Education

This course is an excellent opportunity for those who would like to progress to university in an undergraduate degree in the arts, social sciences or education – including Primary Teaching. Subjects covered include sociology, psychology, Higher English, National 5 Maths, Philosophy and Politics.

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This course offers an excellent opportunity for those who would like to pursue a career in adult or mental health nursing. You will study subjects including human biology, social influences, mental health and mental illness, health promotion, and human development and behaviour.

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The course will allow you to build practical skills and a theoretical understanding of a range of mechanical engineering principals, including dynamics, hydraulics, pneumatics, thermofluids and engineering materials.

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Funding will depend on your personal circumstances, but for the vast majority of SWAP students course fees are fully funded. Most are also eligible for a college bursary.

Find out more about funding at NESCol



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